July 29, 2009
A rare treat!
The Life of Riley is one of the most iconic of 1950s sitcoms and any chance to catch an episode is welcome--but it doesn't get much better than this.
After all, the series' most prominent period re-running was in the early 1980s on CBN cable. Except half the show's episodes--those from just after season 2 began until just after season 5 began all inclusive--were missing from that rerun package. A chunk of the show's history roughly equivalent to the entire run of I Married Joan was just missing!
So now here we have an episode which is not only "new" to fans who watched those CBN reruns, it is uncut--complete with original commercials and correct opening and closings.
Anything like an official DVD release of Riley is a pipe dream...but what a sweet dream. To see ALL the episodes uncut...to see the color episodes in color!...but barring that virtual impossibility this upload is pretty sweet. Just imagine the 16mm grain is snow from a rabbit ear antenna and it's like 1955 again. :)
Oh yeah...the content. It's a decent episode from when the show was still at its peak of popularity. It's good to see adult Babs before she left the nest and a nearly-grown Junior still in the Blue view house. Riley bumbles his way into first one hopeless situation and then another trying to get a boat after he forgets to reserve one for a fishing trip with the foreman. Hawkins is played by Ralph Sanford in this ep and somehow we aren't as convinced that Riley will have hell to pay for not coming through as he would if he had to face Emory Parnell. Being a season 4 episode there is no Gillis. George (George Jetson) O'Hanlon plays a very Gillis-like character as the new neighbor, but unfortunately they cast his wife as a walking fat-joke. They appear, but don't figure in the main story at all.
Broadcast October 21, 1955.